Draft Budget 2017-18 (Timetable)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th October 2016.

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Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

Judging by the Conservative Party conference yesterday, we are all in for a treat, as Mr Hammond takes us for a rollercoaster ride. After all, he and Ms May are stationed at the controls and, while she promises to push the button on article 50, he is ready to reset the economy in the autumn statement.

This is not a normal year, so I think that we all agree that it cannot be a normal budget process. New fiscal powers introduce greater risk and reward to the Scottish budget at a time of economic uncertainty following the referendum and unknown plans at the hands of a new UK chancellor.

Yes, there are some clues. The Fraser of Allander institute has suggested that

“a weaker economic outlook and rising inflation” mean that the chancellor is even more likely to cut the Scottish budget by perhaps up to 6 per cent by 2020-21. However, those are clues and, unless Mr Hammond chooses to enlighten us now with one stroke of the pen or one word in person, we will be dealing with clues until his autumn statement on 23 November.